Eureka

Flavorbar

Client: Studio Volpi Srl

Category: vending machines

Brief Description: Flavorbar is a machine for the preparation of food sauces: a base sauce is mixed with one or more flavors that are chosen by the customer.

Task: hardware design, development of a control software, graphic interface development, prototype construction

Client briefing

To design and build an electronic system able to monitor and control the complex electro-mechanics that are inside the machine: peristaltic pumps, valves and motors. As much attention should be placed to the user interface, provided by a large high-quality touch-screen display, capable of displaying complex animations. An advanced 2D barcode reading system and wireless connectivity interfaces will complete the device.

Product description

Flavorbar is a machine that contains ten pumps and over twenty valves for mixing a sauce made with five possible aromas. The system consists of a central control processor, operating with the Linux operating system. The central processor is responsible for managing the mixiture of the components, as well as the graphical interface. The innovative feature of the machine is the distributed electronics: not a common setup in a vending machine. Instead of having one CPU in charge of controlling all peripheral and actuators, it was decided to equip each actuator, each pump and each valve with a small intelligent electronic board, interconnected by a fieldbus. We thus achieved an interconnected distributed intelligent system that allows a higher degree of modularity and simplicity of development compared to a traditional monolithic system. A further advantage of this architecture is the reduction of the wiring required for the connection of the various elements. This architecture represents a breakthrough in the field of vending machines and simplifies the certification process. The graphical user interface, designed by Studio Volpi's team of experts, was developed in a QtQuick environment, a modern development system that allows the creation of graphics and complex interactions between the user and the machine.

Specifications and technological distinctiveness

Hardware design, development of a control software, graphic interface development, prototype construction.